Apple HomeKit users can finally use the Nest Thermostat — but there's a catch

Nest Thermostat review
(Image credit: Google Store)

Matter, the new smart home standard, has delivered its first real tangible benefit. Google today announced that the Nest Thermostat can now work with Apple HomeKit, marking the first time that one of the best smart thermostats works natively with one of the best smart home hubs

However, there's a big caveat to this announcement. Only the newer Nest Thermostat, and not the older (and more premium) Nest Learning Thermostat, will work with HomeKit. That's because the newer model is Matter-compatible, and the older one is not. 

As we reported on a year ago, the Nest Learning Thermostat, along with the Nest Protect, are two of the products that were not on the company's Matter roadmap.

If you have a Nest Thermostat, you don't have to do anything; Google is automatically rolling out the update starting today, and should be completed within the next few weeks.

Other Google devices that can act as Matter hubs include Nest Wifi Pro, Google Home, Google Home Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st & 2nd gen) and the Nest Hub Max. Unfortunately, they do not work with HomeKit. Baby steps, people.

Despite the fact that older Nest thermostats aren't compatible with Matter, the fact that the newer Nest Thermostat now works with HomeKit is the first real sign that Matter is finally here. For years, we've been promised a future where all of our smart home devices work together, no matter who made them. 

Thus far, the relatively few smart home devices that have Matter activated haven’t been able to do anything radically different from before. If you wanted to use a Nest device on HomeKit, you needed to use a third-party smart home hub such as the Starling Home Hub

While the Starling is still quite useful — you can use it to use Nest smart home cameras with HomeKit, something that isn't supported by either Apple or Google — it will be nice when such hacks are no longer needed.

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.

  • jobobike
    I got in on Next before Google bought out Nest. Prior to Google's buying Nest it had worked great with Siri. There was no need for Matter. Google stopped out of spite with Apple.